Feminism

What Women Want

|

Kerry Howley has a sharp review-essay about feminism in Bookforum. The article is too wide-ranging to summarize, so I'll limit myself to a link and two excerpts. The first quote riffs on Sheila Rowbotham's new history Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century:

Robert Bork's America

"Feminism doesn't mean anything anymore" is a sentiment I've heard quite a bit over the past few years, and reading Rowbotham, one wonders what long-lost past of feminist cohesion is being invoked. You can be fairly sure that a thirty-year-old American self-identified feminist today is a fan of birth control, Medicare, and democracy. In 1890 one could make no such assumptions about a pro-woman radical. She might well support free love but think condoms a tool of the sex-mad patriarchy; she might want to socialize housework or smash the state. One is struck, paging through this idiosyncratic survey of nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers, by the enthusiasm for a kind of fluid, shape-shifting self-conception. "It is such a confounded bore to have to act one part endlessly," American anthropologist Elsie Clews Parsons wrote in her 1914 Journal of a Feminist.

This prized ability to be more than one kind of person is both a font of conceptual freedom and a source of some great internal difficulty, as it isn't easy to rally unstable personae. You couldn't count on rebellious women to agree with one another, and you couldn't count on them to agree with their past selves. Economic disagreements were especially intense. Labor reformers argued that women needed a shorter workday on account of their role as reproductive vessels; individualist anarchists looked on in horror. In Britain, Labour Party activists demanded state payments for mothers; in 1914, writing in Margaret Sanger's anarchist journal Woman Rebel, Benita Locke responded with an article titled "Mothers' Pensions: The Latest Capitalist Plot." The anarchist Ada Nield Chew worried that the payments would be used to "command obedience," as indeed they were in some US states, where smoking or a lack of church attendance could get your mother's allowance pulled.

The second quote describes Manifesta, a defense of third-wave feminism:

Math class is tough.

Third-wave feminism was at its most compelling in its gamesome, confident presentation of the young female body—SLUT scrawled across the stomach; the combination of combat boots and baby-doll dresses. [Jennifer] Baumgardner and [Amy] Richards made the now-familiar case that women and girls can participate in consumer culture without becoming its victims. Barbie can be a figure on whom you practice giving abortions rather than a demon unleashed on the marketplace to sprinkle anorexia dust on infant girls. The market culture that envelops girls is theirs to manipulate and reclaim; it is, in the end, their culture, and it's wrong to pretend they'll be more whole without it.

This is beyond dispute, but it's also not enough for Baumgardner and Richards, who are most interested in something they call "political consciousness," by which they seem to mean earnest engagement with extant institutions. The authors of Manifesta are upset that older feminists don't invite younger feminists to panel discussions; they're also upset that younger feminists don't much seem to care. A woman who runs a popular webzine declares that she believes running the zine is "more effective than getting behind a politician or going to a march." "Indeed it could be," respond Baumgardner and Richards, "if she were proposing a Day of Pay Equity, sort of like Take Our Daughters to Work Day." Women are thus called on to signal that they are on board, to mark on their calendars a series of well-plotted "days" for civic engagement. The idea that a life might be well lived outside the purview of a firmly established movement seems not to have occurred to the authors.

Or perhaps the fear is that such a life would be misunderstood by the second-wavers Baumgardner and Richards are petitioning for acceptance.

NEXT: Reason.tv: A Teachers Strike in Paradise!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I lead a sheltered existence, apparently.

  2. [Jennifer] Baumgardner and [Amy] Richards made the now-familiar case that women and girls can participate in consumer culture without becoming its victims.

    Good for them; the ultimate stumbling block to a demand for equality is that it rings hollow coming from perpetual victims. At some point, if you want to be equal, you have to act as if you actually have agency.

  3. The idea that a life might be well lived outside the purview of a firmly established movement seems not to have occurred to the authors.

    IOW, “third-wave” is more like feminism 2.1 – still in the collectivist victim-pimping business.

  4. Barbie can be a figure on whom you practice giving abortions rather than a demon unleashed on the marketplace to sprinkle anorexia dust on infant girls.

    Oh, that’s healthy. How about teaching young girls not to make regrettable decisions in the first place? Or is that not “liberated” enough?

    1. Nope. Feminists refuse to accept that the disadvantages (depending on one’s point of view) of their biology is not the fault of the patriarchy, or anyone. It’s not “fair” that men can have sex with (usually) no consequence, while they can get pregnant. Thus they see it as their right to engage in promiscuous behavior with the assumption that they won’t get pregnant, and if they do, it’s the patriarchy’s fault and they should be allowed to have an abortion and no one should judge them for their actions.

  5. Feminism and libertarianism share at surprisingly consistent problem as a philosophic stance to define principles. Both spring from very simple first principles. For feminism it is the equality of women in all spheres and for libertarians is it belief that individuals have the absolute right of self-determination. These simple goals are really not that far apart (and it can be argued that libertarianism would engulf, and therefore render feminism unnecessary.) But it is the (competing and unpleasant) implications of both simple principles that turn people off.

    We also split off and become antagonistic very quickly. Feminism’s insistence that equality of opportunity is the same as equality of outcome sets them against our principles almost immediately. This is because it fundamentally approaches questions from a collectivist viewpoint.

    But feminism remains fascinating because they almost get it. They come so tantalizingly close in their very advanced understand of consent and what consent–meaningful and uncoerced consent–really means. In feminism, bodily integrity is absolute, but they refuse to extend that to the labor a body performs because they are so bound up by collectivism.

    1. Hey, NutraSweet, do your typing skills fall under equality of outcome? Because your outcome is pretty awful. “share at surprisingly”? Really? You disappoint me. I trust Pedobear’s spelling more than I trust yours, and you’re the “writer”, right?

      1. You knew I couldn’t type when you got into this relationship.

        1. I call it distypelexia.

        2. You told me that you had a huge spellchecker, and you lied! It’s totally unsatisfying, and I’m done with you.

          1. How dare you accuse me of relationship fraud!

            1. It’s so small. How do I work with that?

              1. Yes, your penis is pretty small. Maybe if you tell lies, it will grow, Pinocchio.

                1. Your attempts to redirect are amusing, NutraDeficient. If you could spell correctly, maybe there would be something to work with.

                  1. Actually that was pretty successful Epi.

          2. You told me that you had a huge spellchecker, and you lied!

            Which word in “share at surprisingly” did SugarFree misspell?

    2. I think you give feminism too much credit. At heart they are collectivists. I don’t see how you can claim to speak for a collective group of people without denying the importance and uniqueness of the individual.

      1. We speak collectively all the time. It’s just a quirk of our language. Even most feminists will admit that they are not speaking for all women, even as none of us speak for all people who believe in liberty.

        It’s really most the consent part I’m impressed with. But they can’t lift their eyes to see the wider issues. And there really are more reasonable feminists out there, or at least more reasonable than the battleaxes on Feministing.

        1. “…even as none of us speak for all people who believe in liberty.”

          Except for me. I speak for everyone who believes in liberty.

          If you disagree with me, you’re not a real libertarian.

          1. SPLITTER!

            1. On matters of liberty, you can speak for us, SF.

              1. “On matters of liberty, you can speak for us, SF.”

                Well, you, sir, are not a real libertarian then.

                So there!

    3. “and it can be argued that libertarianism would engulf, and therefore render feminism unnecessary.”

      #1 in all your stupid remarks

      1. Fantasy theory land is awesome. All women should play in it sometime.

    4. Both spring from very simple first principles. For feminism it is the equality of women in all spheres and for libertarians is it belief that individuals have the absolute right of self-determination. These simple goals are really not that far apart
      The diferences are simple true “equality” was never a goal of feminism. Feminism at its’ core is a sexist belief system.

      1. I didn’t say they stuck to their core principle, just that it was simple to understand and articulate.

        We don’t stick to ours either. Most of our intrablog arguments over the meaning and shape of self-determinism and a lot of people self-identifying as libertarians don’t seem to have a clue what it is.

  6. Women don’t know what they want, because they lack self-awareness.

    Any man who gets laid regularly knows this is self-evident.

    1. *facepalm*

    2. Don’t judge all women by those who would debase themselves to the extent to have sex with you.

  7. People who define themselves in terms of being in solidarity with others are doomed to feelings of being stifled.

    I am not like other men. I am not like other white men or other white business men. I’m firmly heterosexual, but I don’t define myself in solidarity with other heterosexuals either.

    But I imagine, if I thought how society treated me depended on the solidarity of all other white, heterosexual guys–what a stifling world that would be.

    All you white, heterosexual businessmen out there? Do your own thing. I’ll get by alright on my own.

  8. My wife used to tie up her Barbie dolls, too. She started when she was about 6…

    1. You dirty bastard.

    2. That’s actually pretty hot.

      1. when she was about 6…

        That’s actually pretty hot.

        No, bad Fluffy.

        1. fuck you

          1. Not to worry: Now that she’s an adult, she’s stopped tying up dolls. She ties up people.

            1. What I wrote was supposed to be tongue in cheek…

              Like the ol’ Monty Python routine about your wife being a “sport”?

              You know…how if your wife was into x then, then she must be into x now?

              Anyway, it was supposed to be funny.

              : (

            2. Too much information!

              1. “…she’s stopped tying up dolls. She ties up people.”

                I knew he was a dirty bastard all along.

                1. I bet she writes SLUT across his stomach with magic marker when he’s tied up, too.

                  1. Oh, your dirty mind, Hazel!

  9. “Third-wave feminism was at its most compelling in its gamesome, confident presentation of the young female body?SLUT scrawled across the stomach; the combination of combat boots and baby-doll dresses.”

    Because nothing says respect me as writing SLUT across your stomach.

    “Barbie can be a figure on whom you practice giving abortions rather than a demon unleashed on the marketplace to sprinkle anorexia dust on infant girls.”

    Abortion is such a positive thing. It is a good thing there are not millions of women with fucked up lives full of guilt and low self esteem thanks to their deadbeat boyfriends talking them into abortions they didn’t want. And of course every eight year old girl needs to know and practice abortions on her doll. Nothing says childhood innocence like abortion.

    My God Howley is awful. Just awful. She is the worst writer Reason has ever hired.

    1. I agree with you on some of that stuff, John. …except the part about Howley?

      Her classic about how racism and sexism makes libertarians shoot themselves and their cause in the foot should be required reading for Libertarian 101.

      And to the post in this thread, she didn’t advocate women writing SLUT across their stomachs or suggest that little girls can pretend to give their Barbies abortions too–she described what some feminists think…

      Not that she necessarily disagrees, but surely you see the difference between advocating something and describing what someone else thinks?

      1. There is. And maybe she is not advocating that. It seems like she is to me, but maybe I am misreading her.

        What bugs me about Howley is that she in the past has denied that there are any negative consequences to action. She will argue that not only should prostitution be legal, which it should, but that it is also a great career choice for some women, even though she would never do it. I find that to be ridiculous and naive.

        I find Howley’s opinions on feminism to be ridiculous and naive. Considering her views on prostitution, I think she probably does think that writing SLUT on your stomach is some kind of form of empowerment.

        1. Well, it IS.

          It says, “Fuck you, I don’t care what you think. Asshole.”

          And that is empowering. Sorry. Just because you think it’s stupid doesn’t mean it isn’t empowering.

          And maybe the reason all those women who had abortions are filled with low self-esteem is because they have accepted the verdict of those around them who tell them that they should feel shame. One way to not have such low self-esteem about it would be to trivialize it. And hey – if it’s really not a life, it deserves to be trivialized. And one way to do that would be to laugh about Barbie having an abortion.

          1. And me having a mullet and having a T-Shirt that says ” Campers See More Beaver” should have no effect on how you perceive me. I should be able to dress and act entirely as I like at all times and you have no right to make any negative inferences based on that. If a guy writes “slut” on his stomach, he is a drunken moron. There is nothing empowering about acting stupid.

            That is why I can’t stand people like Howley. They live in a fantasy world where your actions never seem to have negative effects. They tell girls it is perfectly okay to go out and drink and dress slutty because that is somehow empowering. In reality such behavior for women is dangerous. Feminist are right when they say men, especially young men, are aggressive pigs sometimes. Yes, if you are a young woman wearing a skirt that shows half your ass with SLUT written across your stomach falling down drunk at a frat party, there is a least a significant chance something bad is going to happen to you. And there is nothing empowering about that. Why Howley thinks that such behavior should be encouraged or glorified is beyond me. Basically, she is good looking and well off and doesn’t think anything bad can ever happen to her is the best guess I have.

            1. I was going to make a similar point,John.

              What I was going to say:

              So if I walk around wearing shorts with one of my testicles hanging out with “all a’board” stitched across the crotch, and a belly shirt that says “My face is leaving at 9pm, you better be on it”, then I am empowering myself, because I(obviously) don’t care what people think.

              I decided the mental image my comment provokes would be too much, so I didn’t post it. Oops…

              1. I can’t believe that no one is interested in where they could buy genuine Dudeslut? sexy train based clothing for men.

                1. I can’t believe that no one is interested in where they could buy genuine Dudeslut? sexy train based clothing for men.

                  C’mon guys, if you got it flaunt it. Special 1/2 off sale this week only.

                2. C’mon. It’s ManWhore?.

            2. I think part of what you are addressing, John, is whether or not a person can make anti-social statements and not complain when the consequences of their actions don’t yield expected or desired outcomes.

              If a girl gets fall-down drunk after spending the night playing grabass with a bunch of guys, while wearing a miniskirt, no panties, and a barely-there shirt, she has to accept that she may not be treated with the amount of respect she thinks ought to be accorded her. I am not advocating rape or saying there is a time it is ever permissible, but sometimes people put themselves in compromising positions because they have been told that their actions should yield no consequences.

              Same for job interviews and appropriate dress, using appropriate language in certain settings, and restraining yourself from violence even when violence is being used against you (sometimes this is necessary). Actions do have consequences. Some are willing to take anti-social stances or actions and accept that they will be rejected in some way. Others think they ought to be indulged their anti-social behavior and still be accepted as part of the fold with full membership privileges. It is the latter group with which I have a problem.

            3. First, I don’t see where Howley says: “I feel empowered when I have SLUT written somewhere on my body” OR “I agree with women who feel empowered by having SLUT written on their bodies.” If you can find either those particular phrases or sentiments, I stand corrected. She was stating a fact, and like it or not, it’s a fact that some women are empowered by claiming that word.

              Second, I’m not sure why you’re bringing up a hypothetical drunk young woman wearing a mini-skirt and the word SLUT (or why you’re claiming Howley or anyone else would find her particularly empowered or empowering, because that has nothing to do with anything), but either way, she doesn’t deserve to raped, spat on or in any way harmed. If the “negative effects” of her actions you’re talking about means some one else has the right to harm her, you really need to have your head examined. On the other hand, if the hypothetical woman get laughed at for her drunken stupidity or has a massive hangover, that’s her problem.

              Third, yes, if you walked around with a mullet and some classless t-shirt, people would make a judgement call on you. They would be right to do so, because you presumably chose to buy those clothes and to wear them; they say something about you.

              But the label “slut” doesn’t work that way. To this day, women who have multiple sex partners are smacked with that label by other people, and not really by choice (unless, of course, you feel women should only have one partner through life and deserve shame if they choose otherwise). So, in essence, women who do feel empowered by labeling themselves, literally, with that word feel they are claiming their own sexuality.

              I don’t know that I agree with it, but I can understand it. But one of the goals of feminism is to be able to say, “That moron over there will do as she pleases. She doesn’t represent women or me, she represents herself.”

              1. I think you missed the part where I said “I am not advocating rape or saying there is a time it is ever permissible, but sometimes people put themselves in compromising positions because they have been told that their actions should yield no consequences.”

                That doesn’t mean rape under these circumstances shouldn’t be prosecuted either; but c’mon, women who engage in this type of behavior usually know what they are doing – being giant cock-teases who expect to flirt and not pay up when a guy decides to close the deal.

                I would not put myself in such a compromising position. I have no respect for women who do. My personal choice and judgment on those women. I don’t want my daughter to think its OK to be a SLUT in the sense mentioned above or in any other sense, and I hope to imbue her with enough self respect and sense of consequences to avoid making potentially harmful choices. Ultimately she will be her own person and make her own decisions, and I can only hope they will be good ones based on what I’ve taught her.

                I have to question the wisdom of anyone who invites what is certain to be trouble of any kind and then bemoans the trouble that resulted because it accepted his or her invitation.

                1. Madbiker,

                  My reply was mostly to John, but way to be a victim-blaming, skeezy rape agologist.

                  “That doesn’t mean rape under these circumstances shouldn’t be prosecuted either; but c’mon, women who engage in this type of behavior usually know what they are doing – being giant cock-teases who expect to flirt and not pay up when a guy decides to close the deal.”

                  No one is asking to be raped, under any circumstances. Ever. And right here, you’re saying that sometimes, women are, and maybe they should be forced to “pay up.”

                  You did raise a valid point regarding the claiming of the word slut, though. Personally, I feel it’s like trying to claim a racial slur as empowering. I think it would be better to get away from words like that altogether, but I’m not going to speak for anyone else on the matter.

                  1. Reclaiming slurs is not empowering, it is just more justification for a tribal “us v them” mentality. Because ultimately words have different meanings based upon which tribe uses them, not on individual merits.

                    But, if you want to call yourself a slut, that is your right.

              2. Kat, while Howley doesn’t explicitly say that revealing clothes are empowering, it is a defining characteristic of third wave feminism, which looms large in the article. Especially the pedestal placement of ditsy media figures. The argument goes; over-sexualized women whose bodies take precedence over their minds are empowering because, though objectified, they control the image.

                What seems to be forgotten, though, is that a lot of the times these images aren’t consciously perpetrated, and the motivation and empowerment exist only in the minds of the deconstructionists. Ergo; it doesn’t really exist.

                Ultimately though, you are correct in that the end result of identity movements should be based on the individual. I.e.; that one must bear responsibility for one’s own actions and beliefs, not based on the definitions placed on the group by society at large, or on the images of so-called representatives of said group.

              3. “But the label “slut” doesn’t work that way. To this day, women who have multiple sex partners are smacked with that label by other people, and not really by choice”

                I would say if you write it on your stomach you are accepting the label freely.

                1. That is the point. You take away the word’s power to hurt you by adopting the word yourself, and as you say, “accepting the label freely.” This is something people have always done, from the “N” word to Yankee Doodle Dandy. It’s an act of defiance in the face of what you deem an unfair slur.

                  Now, you may deem this stupid, or argue that it’s counterproductive. But it can certainly be empowering, by which I mean the person adopting the word can feel more powerful, feel more control over their own life, by owning the label with which others wish to tar him or her.

                  1. Ultimately though, one must live, work, and act for themselves. Living a life of defiance, or submission, based on other people’s perceptions empowers the outside collective rather than the individual. To be a fully realized individual the slings and arrows of society must be regarded as inconsequential.

                2. John,

                  Uh, yes, that’s exactly what I said. The label as it’s used by society is not a free choice. The free choice in choosing to label yourself and accepting it is (probably) what’s considered empowering.

                  I didn’t say I agreed with it, because I don’t think choosing the word erases its negativity, but that’s the usually the thought process behind it for anyone who wants to make a statement.

            4. Any stable libertarian society requires a culture with an ethos of personal responsibility. One reason why it’s hard for libertarian ideas to get traction in the US right now, probably.

              1. The funny thing is that this thread has turned into an object lesson on why this IS empowering, and you guys can’t see it.

                We have John telling those young sluts to get off his lawn, and we have this new guy saying that women who act this way deserve to get raped. And yeah, that’s what you said. Having a post that says, “I’m not saying they deserve to get raped, but [insert paraphrase of ‘they deserve to get raped here’]” means that you’re saying it, but trying to deny that you’re saying it. Just fucking man up and say it.

                Don’t you realize that the deliberate defiance of you guys is exactly what is empowering about acting in this manner?

                1. Fluffy, I think it raises an important question. Is a person empowered because they feel that they have power, or they actually have power?

                  I would argue the second. Defiance doesn’t equal power. Being defiant will not pay your rent or bring you the respect of your peers. It, arguably, has the opposite effect. Who in the community is going to listen to, seek advice from, or generally respect the woman wearing shorts with her ass hanging out and a shirt that says “who needs brains, when you have these?”.

            5. “They live in a fantasy world where your actions never seem to have negative effects.”

              A libertarian posting this as a criticism? Oookay….

              1. If this non sequitur is supposed to be insulting, then you have failed in your endeavor.

          2. One way to not have such low self-esteem about it would be to trivialize it. And hey – if it’s really not a life, it deserves to be trivialized.
            Having spoken to some women who have had abortions about the “guilt” they feel, there is one fact that has to be taken into account. It is that baring that act there would probably be a child around. Once they had other children it is difficult for them to not wonder at times what the aborted fetus would have turned out like. My first wife had a miscarriage and I wonder the same things.

        2. “I think she probably does think that writing SLUT on your stomach is some kind of form of empowerment.”

          I don’t know whether she does or not. But speaking for myself, even I have to acknowledge that the stigma associated with being called a “slut” doesn’t exist for men.

          And I’m more than just a little skeptical of the suggestion that psychologically healthy women would choose prostitution too. …but then I’ve heard a former stripper who used to frequent these here boards say that at least one of the dancers she used to work with seemed to be genuinely enthusiastic about getting into the video business…

          So who am I to say? We’re not talking about math or science here–I’m not sure any of us can say whether that’s absolutely true or not. Especially given my limited experience…I walked past a brothel or two when I was in Mexico, but I never went in. So what do I know?

          And the fact that she disagrees with me on any given point certainly doesn’t mean I don’t want to read what she’s writing. I read people I disagree with all the time–I’m not about to learn anything from people who agree with me.

        3. I actually think Howley’s a pretty good writer…….for a girl.

      2. You’re so full of shit, Ken. The same amount of women who think like that, are likely equivalent to the same amount of men, who make comments like “You dirty bastard”, “That’s actually pretty hot.”,” when she was about 6…That’s actually pretty hot. No, bad Fluffy.” Here’s a clue: 6 year olds don’t want to be raped, and most don’t even know what an abortion is, let alone, that they have a vagina.

        1. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

        2. Don’t feel bad, it doesn’t make much sense.

        3. “Here’s a clue: 6 year olds don’t want to be raped, and most don’t even know what an abortion is, let alone, that they have a vagina.”

          So I guess I’m speculating, but I think I see where your dirty mind went…

          Howley mentioned that Barbies aren’t just for teaching little girls to dress up sexy for men as some old school feminists would have it–girls can also project other things onto their dolls. …a Barbie having an abortion being one example of something you could project onto a Barbie that’s militant feminist rather than reinforcing sexist stereotypes.

          So this guy up there points out that when his wife played with Barbies, she used to tie them up–and in my infinite stupidity, I assumed he was referring to what Howley said… That since his wife used to tie up Barbies, now she must tie him up…

          And not so stupidly, I was absolutely right about what he was saying–so why don’t you get your head out of the gutter?

        4. You are fucking hysterical, excuse the historical implications of that word.

          Do you read the comments you reply to, or do you just copy n’ paste then add rage? If you read my fucking comment, that you pasted here, you would realize that I was saying to fluffy that his comment didn’t seem cool, and might be misinterpreted. But, I guess digging below the surface is too much for you.

    2. “Because nothing says respect me as writing SLUT across your stomach.”

      John, don’t you get it? Womyn should be respected at all times DESPITE writing SLUT across their stomachs. Womyn are never, ever to be perceived as sex objects despite their dress, attitude, or actions – making Womyn into a sex object degrades her central humynity!

      1. I think it’s about the stigma associated with sexually active women.

        Add class envy to the equation and you get people’s hatred for Paris Hilton…

        There’s no equivalent for men.

      2. I always interpreted things like “SLUT” written on the stomach as a declaration that a woman can be a sex object if she wants to and a challenge to a double standard that generally congratulates men for being sexually promiscuous, but brands women who are as sluts.

        1. I hear you Zeb, just playing advocatum diaboli today.

          I’m in a saucy mood.

      3. No one respected me when I wrote SLUT on my stomach. In fact, I found it most isolating.

        1. Sug, if someone with as much belly hair as you is going to attempt something like that, a thorough waxing is in order. You might consider junk-dazzling (you come up with a better name for male vajazzling if you think you’re so smart) instead.

          1. But I was a SLUT and no one cared. I went home and ate a whole birthday cake. Which wasn’t mine.

            junk-dazzling

            Mirror Balls?

            1. Then you woke up the next morning feeling sticky and ashamed? Don’t worry, you basically got the full SLUT experience.

          2. How about reverse waxing “slut” into the belly hair? Either wax off the word, or wax off everything but the word. I leave it to SF to decide which would be more appropriate, but I’m thinking waxing off the word would take much less wax…

          3. This thread now contains the word “vajazzling”.

            Vajazzling. This is a good day.

          4. sexist!!! why do you have to refer to male genitalia as “junk”? sheesh

      4. Well, personally, I would interpret SLUT written across the stomach as “please fuck me like a sex object, okay?”

        1. Personally, I would too. If other women or men want to do that or something similar, fine, but I don’t want to be forced to tolerate or accept that person into my social circle.

          1. For a guy named Madbiker, you’re rather prudish.

            Or wait … are you saying you’d prefer the women wear spandex with REEBOK printed across the stomach?

            1. I’m female, thanks, and I think literally labeling yourself as a SLUT is in poor taste, at best. If one wants to do it, fine, but I don’t like it and find it hard to respect a woman who would. It’s just not in my make up.

              1. Well, honestly, I wouldn’t publicly wear a shirt with ‘SLUT’ written across it. But I can see how in the right context, say, a fetish ball, some women might.

                And what people do in the bedroom really should have no bearing on how they get treated in public.

                If a guy likes get whipped and tied up and wears a chastity belt under his suit, that should have no relationship whatsoever to how he gets treated at his job, or how women who have dated him should treat him in public.

                Similarly, if a girl likes getting treated like a slut in bed, why is that license for men to publicly disrespect her ?

                1. “Similarly, if a girl likes getting treated like a slut in bed, why is that license for men to publicly disrespect her ?”

                  I think it depends on her outward public appearance. Is she painting “slut” on her belly and walking around in public bearing the label?

                  People’s bedroom habits are their own and I don’t presume to dictate them. But, I don’t want to know the details either, necessarily. If you want to be a slut, or be whipped, or choked, or diapered like an adult baby, that is fine. I don’t think I need to be aware of it though – I thought that part of the titillation behind a fetish was the idea of it being against the norm and something taboo to be kept private, for your own enjoyment.

                  If you advertise you’re a slut, and get treated like one (whether it be getting fucked by random guys, spit on by people who morally disagree with your preference, or shunned in certain establishments) and you don’t like the treatment you get, then that is a consequence of the action of advertising sluttiness.

    3. Because nothing says respect me as writing SLUT across your stomach.

      I am constantly amazed at the necessary hand waving needed to equate a girl wearing booty shorts with “baby doll” stitched across the ass with feminine empowerment.

      When you place the hood rat on the same level as the female physicist, CEO, senator…etc, you don’t uplift the “slut”, rather you demean the successful image.

      1. c’mon, capitol, that girl in bootie shorts is just as much a persyn, deserving of your respect for her persynal empowerment, as that physicist who conducts herself with stuffy, stodgy obedience to the whims of the patriarchal brotherhood that dictates our science to us.

        1. I know yer just joshin’, an all, but I think it raises a significant point.
          Successful women who enjoy themselves and have multiple sexual partners, in my experience, aren’t considered sluts. While a girl who wears the signifying clothing may be a virgin and be viewed as such.

          Whether we like to admit it or not, our clothing and outside behavior dictate people’s perceptions of us more so than actual objective reality.

          If I roll around town with a mullet and a Dale Earnheart tee, no one is going to mistake me for a particle physicist.

      2. When you place the hood rat on the same level as the … senator

        That’s libel.

    4. Get a hold of yourself, John!

      Men are so emotional.

      1. Wow. Awesome.

        1. If that really is Howley, I seem to have the gift of getting her out to comment on the threads. This is the fourth time I have gotten a rise out of her.

          1. I’m not sure who’s gettin’ a rise out of who here…

            She’s commented on four of your comments, and you’ve commented on how many of hers?

            1. Nah, you got to give John his props here. I use to wax poetic over Kerry big time. Infamously so. The most I ever go was a terse email from some geek at CATO saying “Don’t be dissing on my woman.”

              1. Wilkinson? You can take him, Warren.

              2. I remember her saying Episarch won one thread she’d started–and possible every other thread ever.

                And I remember you getting more than just an email over at you know where… But what was the next step after that with you? …a restraining order?!

                I mean, seriously? Getting props from you for irritating Howley is like getting an “atta boy” from LoneWacko on the immigration issue…

                No thanks–you freak!

                ; )

    5. thanks to their deadbeat boyfriends talking them into abortions they didn’t want
      Ya those poor women are incapable of thinking or acting for themselves.

      1. It is not about being a woman. It is about being a person. And if you don’t think that people in general don’t get guilted into doing things they later regret, you don’t know much about people.

        My point was not that the women couldn’t think for themselves. My point was that abortion is not exactly an unalloyed good for women.

        1. if you don’t think that people in general don’t get guilted into doing things they later regret
          Actually I am married and fully understand the power of guilt.

          My point was not that the women couldn’t think for themselves. My point was that abortion is not exactly an unalloyed good for women.
          That may have been the point you were making, but the truth is women completely capable of making bad decisions all on their own. Blaming all their bad choices on the “evil male” does a disservice to both sexes.

    6. “Because nothing says respect me as writing SLUT across your stomach.”

      You’re clearly not a fun person to go to bed with.

      1. Can I go to bed with you and write “SLUT” across your stomach? 😉

        1. I have a boyfriend, but thanks for the idea. 🙂

    7. “My God Howley is awful. Just awful. She is the worst writer Reason has ever hired.”

      I agree. Kerry is the worst. She gets away with it because she is a woman.

  10. Seems pretty reasonable to me dude.

    Lou
    http://www.online-privacy.de.tc

    1. Oh privacy bot, is there anything you wouldn’t agree with?

  11. You sure that’s specifically a feminist cartoon (feministcartoon.jpg), rather than an anti-Irish, anti-immigrant, or anti-liquor one?

    1. It’s probably all of the above.

    2. Oh, I didn’t notice the picture. What the hell’s wrong with that women talking to her husband like that. And why isn’t she offering him a beer and a sandwich? What a horrible role model for her children.

      1. And why isn’t she offering him a beer and a sandwich?

        To be fair maybe she was busy grilling a steak for him.

        1. Good point Astrid. I like the way you think.

          1. It’s too bad I’m not real, isn’t it?

            1. You can’t be. You’re too perfect:)

        2. Steak from the venison she caught, allowing him to save his precious wages.

          1. I thought that was implied.

  12. The only thing that still links all feminists together is their lack of a sense of humor.

    1. You must not know many. The two funniest women I’ve ever met are feminists.

      1. But are they funny intentionally?

  13. The only thing that still links all feminists together is thinking about this stuff waaaaay too much.

    At least that’s what my wife the head of her legal department tells me when she comes home to the dinner I’ve made.

  14. Some of my wimmin friends (I am a woman, thank you), especially my lefty-leftcoast-lesbian sister-in-law, accuse me of being backwards and anti-womyn because of my lifestyle choices. They cannot see that my choices make me happy and my personal happiness (and that of my immediate family and good friends) is my only real concern.

    Solidarity with anything has never really appealed to me; it has to be a thing of great import to swear me to unending fealty to an ideology. My marriage is one of those important things. Feminism is not.

    I am not equal to my peers or husband, owing to various strengths and weaknesses I have compared to them. Some of my wimmin acquaintances see that as my willing submission to a subjugating patriarchy. I see it as knowing my talents, limits, desires, and dislikes, and making the right choice for me to live happily within those boundaries. Why is that a feminist crime?

    1. That is why feminists are the worst collectivists. They don’t want choice. If they did, they would support you no matter how you lived your life. But they don’t. They want all women to conform to their ideal. It is just a larger, adult version of a sorority slam club.

      1. “That is why feminists are the worst collectivists.”

        you are one of the most accidentally hilarious people to have ever lived, john.

      2. “They don’t want choice. If they did, they would support you no matter how you lived your life. But they don’t.”

        I have to admit I offer very little support to people who choose to just do what they’re told.

        …even if they say doing what they’re told makes them happy.

        1. Some people like being the submissive one in B&D.

          1. I don’t think that’s what John was talking about.

        2. By that standard, almost all of us who post here qualify for some form of an atta boy from you.

          1. Atta boy Libertymike!

    2. This is right on. One of the things I find most offputting about movement feminism is the ‘traitor to the cause’ thing, often hand in hand with the impulse to reduce some people’s choices to the assumption that they must be victims of the patriarchy, because how else can you explain a silly woman who wants to be a pornstar, or a housewife, or an unrepentant consumer?

      By demanding that those of us with vaginas continually ponder our oppression, they actually serve to reify and cement the very inequality they hate.

      1. If we could afford it, my wife would quit her job today and stay at home and raise kids and when they were older maybe start a business or something. How is that being a “traitor to the cause”? And since when is raising children less important than working as some nine to five drone?

        Feminists are the worst sorts of elitists. They assume every woman went to Welsley and is contemplating various six figure job offers. The idea that a woman might be like most people and have a lousy job they would like to quit and is much less desirable than staying home with their children never occurs to feminists.

      2. Feminists were never able to shake the presumption of false consciousness.

        Even if explained well and without the stupidity of trollsplation, I accept that a whole lot of people are going to run screaming from libertarianism.

        1. Thanks, “false consciousness” was the term I was looking for. It’s really condescending, whether it’s coming from feminists, or liberals who moan about those unenlightened rednecks ‘voting against their interest.’

      3. “By demanding that those of us with vaginas continually ponder our oppression, they actually serve to reify and cement the very inequality they hate.”

        This is true for any persons or groups who decry their inequality to that standard-bearer of the Bar of Achievement: the white male.

        I find myself questioning the wisdom of teaching about tolerance, racism, anti-Semitism, etc. It is vital to acknowledge those things and the atrocious behavior of some groups towards others, but by perpetuating a feeling of inequality or teaching kids that they are oppressors/oppressed simply because their ethnicity or religion places them in a certain group only perpetuates this issue.

      4. I agree with this. Modern feminists are way, way too fucking quick to smack down other women for not living up to THEIR image of “what a woman should be”.

        They are if possible even more judgmental about other women than men today are.

    3. Whenever my wife told people in college that she wanted to raise kids with her life, they looked at her like a pariah. But hell, if that’s what she wants to do, what business is it of theirs?

      (I’m pro-her doing that too, in a few years.)

      She and I discussed recently what would have happened if the Internet, cable TV, etc had happened before the women’s revolution, whether all those things that make staying at home more fun and interesting would have made it so women never found the idea of going to tedious jobs that interesting.

      1. I wonder sometimes if there would have been so many “tedious jobs” to do if it had not been for feminist rallying cries to open up the labor market to women.

    4. I always believed that if I ever found a guy that shared my beliefs and goals, I would quit my career and be a homemaker. Raising children always seemed far more rewarding and fulfilling than pushing papers all day. But according to the feminists, pushing papers is somehow supposed to be more rewarding and I am a victim of our oppressive patriarchal society if I do not agree.

  15. I guess the banner ad for (hot, HOT, HOT!!!) Russian women is private sector support for femminism.
    yeah, like to get me a woman in the private sector…

  16. I think a lot of women who don’t really study all of the different forms of feminism generally identify it with groups like NOW. And since many of those groups are nothing more then shills for the DNC their just turned off by the whole thing. Politics will do that.

    BTW… I have what women want. All you have to do is ask. Or even imply:)

  17. Kerry is just trying to show that feminism can have a libertarian side to it. It CAN deal with determinism without resorting to collectivist theories.

    Both men and womyn can ‘rise’ above their inner animal or acquiesce to it…and that is an equal opportunity that fair minds should recognize.

  18. I never understood feminism. I understand embracing who YOU are, and if you happen to be a woman, great. I do not embrace my feminine features because I am woman and want to roar but because my tits are fucking amazing. I’ve always hated the self victimization that comes with feminism. I’ve never in my life felt oppressed or lacked opportunity, or in any way was inferior to any of my male counterparts (with the exception of my lack of upper body strength). I do find it annoying that there are very few funny female comedians and there is still a perception that women are not allowed to make dick and fart jokes.

  19. Another huge problem I have with the current state of feminism is the dogged, unending obsession with weight and body size. You say men reduce women to objectified, sexualized bodies, and then to combat it you talk about weight all the damn time, as though it were a real political issue? Enjoy your sour grapes, if that’s your thing, but it won’t convince anyone there’s a serious political ideology behind all the whining about cellulite and Size Acceptance.

    1. So Dagny what is the feminist line on that? On the one hand, most feminists are liberals. And liberals seem to really hate fat people and view obesity as a societal nightmare. On the other hand, “size acceptance” seems to imply that it is okay to be fat and not care. How does that work?

      1. It’s actually a schism for some, but most rationalize it away by thinking that obesity is never a choice, but doing nothing to lose weight is.

        Since it’s glands or junk food or the dread corporations making you fat, then all of the liberal food wars are justified. Whenever anyone gets close to the obvious fact that you make the choices of what you put in your body, they are jumped all over.

        It is the complete abrogation of all responsibility for whatever your condition might be. That’s where the total victim doctrine leads you. And that’s they key to why they hate us.

        1. Man that is messed up.

      2. John, you should see the mental tapdancing that goes on. First, one’s weight is typically seen by them to be completely out of one’s control. Plus, there’s the general wailing about lack of funding for Healthy School Lunches and Oh Noes Food Deserts (wherein the poors are forcefed Big Macs, presumably).

        And, like Sug notes below, it just really pisses them off that dudes find certain women more attractive than others- a particularly hurtful inequality of outcome.

        1. What kills me about the whole “accept me as I am” thing is that they would never apply it to men. A man is supposed to accept a woman who cares nothing about her appearance. But it is perfectly okay for woman to discriminate against men based on looks. The whole thing is just a bunch of spoiled brats who want always to have it both ways.

          1. I can give it to them both ways.

            *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*

      3. “You owe it to society to be healthy as you become a financial drain.”

        “This group of people are being victimized.”

        Just another contradiction in collectivist logic.

      4. Anytime you use lazy blanket descriptions of large groups of people you’ll get these kinds of contradictions. For example:

        “On the one hand, most libertarians are conservatives. And conservatives seem to really hate abortion. On the other hand, “libertarianism” seems to imply that it the government shouldn’t impose sanctions on abortion. How does that work?”

    2. They can’t separate the freedom to be any size you want from the freedom to not find certain body types unattractive. They think, like a bunch of the trolls around these parts, that wanting something bad enough trumps other people’s choices.

    3. Is this where I admit my wife put me on a diet because I was starting to get nicer looking tits than she has?

      1. No, there’s not actually any place for that.

        1. you barfman.

          *barf*

  20. Like many problems with the world today, I blame the public school system. This is an essay by Paul Graham. You can ignore the part about nerds if you’d like, but his description of the school system is dead on.

    “Public school teachers are in much the same position as prison wardens. Wardens’ main concern is to keep the prisoners on the premises. They also need to keep them fed, and as far as possible prevent them from killing one another. Beyond that, they want to have as little to do with the prisoners as possible, so they leave them to create whatever social organization they want. From what I’ve read, the society that the prisoners create is warped, savage, and pervasive, and it is no fun to be at the bottom of it.

    In outline, it was the same at the schools I went to. The most important thing was to stay on the premises. While there, the authorities fed you, prevented overt violence, and made some effort to teach you something. But beyond that they didn’t want to have too much to do with the kids. Like prison wardens, the teachers mostly left us to ourselves. And, like prisoners, the culture we created was barbaric.”

    http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

    1. Essentially, most girls and guys exit the high school system having grown up and “matured” in a dream world following rules that don’t really mean anything. Now, they’ve turned 18, they try to change reality by voting to make the world the way they want it instead of accepting how things naturally work, ie it doesn’t matter how many touchdowns you can throw(unless you go pro), it matters if you’re able to create wealth for yourself.

      The public school system creates the girls that stumble around at frat parties as well as the worthless frat guy who decides to take advantage. Because nothing is required of students in high school, they create their pecking order and try to carry with them to the voting booth.

      1. Private schools create those people too. I’ve met them.

        1. Very true, I’ve met them as well. I went to both private and public schools and I learned that the people who can afford to send kids to private schools had to have gotten the money from somewhere, and those parents tend to impress upon their kids a similar work ethic and quality.

          You get spoiled brats too, but rich kids tend to be interested in creating and doing something, even if their political views are all wrong.

    2. Maybe I was just lucky, but my school experience was nothing like this.

  21. I think you guys are all missing the point of the ‘SLUT’ thing. It’s not really about empowerment at all. It’s sexual advertising. You’re telling potential partners what kind of sex you like. It’s like having a rainbow sticker on your car.

    1. The infection transmitting kind of sex?

    2. “I think you guys are all missing the point of the ‘SLUT’ thing. It’s not really about empowerment at all. It’s sexual advertising. You’re telling potential partners what kind of sex you like. It’s like having a rainbow sticker on your car.”

      We do get it. Kerry wants make the world safe for slutiness.

      1. Kerry wants make the world safe for slutiness.

        Bless her.

        1. Precisely. Why would a bunch of libertarian men want girls to be less slutty?

          1. Married. Want everyone else to suffer too.

          2. They’re like school girls fawning over some guy in a boy band…

            Guys imagine a woman for themselves and themselves only. It goes back to Madonna/Whore Complex. …they want a whore for them and them only, and a virgin for everyone else to see…

            I have to admit, I’d have rather gone to the dentist than have had to listen to my ex-girlfriend talk about one of her ex-boyfriends. Women seem to be different that way–they want to hear about your ex-girlfriends…for some reason.

            Anyway, a lot of people live on noble lies, and if you’ve been in a long term relationship, chances are the guy lives from day to day under the weird lie that his girlfriend has never been with anyone but him–and will never be with anyone else.

            And you know that special kind of stupid guys get when their girlfriend breaks up with them? Well, I think part of that’s about having that lie pulled out from under them.

            1. I don’t live under that delusion. And no one I know does. Further, just because a woman sleeps with men doesn’t mean she is a slut and doesn’t in any way make it a good idea to debase herself.

            2. Yes, basically, you’re totally right. The SLUT shirt would be a turn-on behind closed doors, as long as the girlfriend never wears it in public.

              But I do wish that men would admit that more often, instead of getting all puritanical about it whenever they see a girl dress slutty in public, and pretend like they wouldn’t love to see their own girlfriend in the same clothes behind closed doors.

              1. They only do that when women are around, Hazel.

                1. “They only do that when women are around, Hazel.”

                  Weird. Why do men think women want to listen to them call other women sluts? Or is it supposed to be the guy trying to tell the girl he doesn’t want her acting like that.

                  Man, are guys really that hormonally controlled?

              2. The guys who get all puritanical about that stuff are called “guys I stop hanging out with.”

              3. My girlfriend is a decade younger than I am, and her attitudes reflect a culture that is different than my own. She grew up on horrible pop music, I grew up on metal. We both love the Venture Brothers and South Park.

                But I don’t really care about the differences in mores. It is her body, she does what she wants with it.

                I’m not prone to jealousy like I was in my twenties, like most guys I had insecurities then, over time I weeded them out until I was at the point I actually liked myself.

                Some of her choices would get some of the prudish guys on this board in a tizzy, but those choices also reflect the sort of things her girlfriends she grew up with in their early teens that they held in common.

                Your clique is always stronger than the nebulous influence of a collective identity out side of it.

                If she is out of town, and guys hit on her, good for her. A few weeks back she called me in the middle of a Saturday night, and said ‘you gotta hear this guy’s pick up line.’ She made him repeat it on the phone. I laughed and told him, ‘that’s pretty awesome, dude!’

                I really only have a few considerations,

                1) don’t bring back anything that I’ll have to deal with be it in personal terms, or viral terms.

                and (2) what should be rule number one, don’t get fat. If you eat that slice of cheese cake, you better do a line of coke after wards to speed up your metabolism.

                Just kidding about the last part. I would probably tolerate her twice the size she is now though that is the last thing I would ever let her know before it ever happened.

            3. they want to hear about your ex-girlfriends…for some reason.

              My girlfriend’s been asking me about my exes lately. I think girls like to torture themselves wondering if they’re as pretty or nice or good in bed as a man’s ex.

              1. Uh, I think it’s probably more about the girl trying to analyze the boyfriend’s emotional “baggage”.

                I think it’s more a guy thing to wonder if he is as “good” in bed as the other guys his girlfriend has had sex with. Or if his penis is as big or something.

                1. “I think it’s more a guy thing to wonder if he is as “good” in bed as the other guys his girlfriend has had sex with. Or if his penis is as big or something.”

                  I think you’re right about women wondering about the emotional baggage–they want to know if you’re still hung up on someone else.

                  But the good in bed thing? That’s not what guys are worried about.

                  I think it goes all the way down to instinct; this is something you see in a lot of other species…

                  I’ve seen it demonstrated in Lion prides, wolf packs and wild horses. Males have no use for other guys–at least not around their female.

                  I don’t even want to think about it.

                  In Lion prides? As soon as a male cub gets old enough…the first time prime males catches him…? He’s driven off to hunt alone–until he can come back and challenge for control of the pride…

                  Horses, pretty much the same thing.

                  In wolf packs, the alpha pair are the only ones allowed to mate….

                  We’re talking about 2.5 million years of human evolution at least here–remember, evolution is about competing for females. Other guys with your woman? Unbe-freakin-thinkable.

                  I don’t even want to think about it.

            4. I think it was Heinlein who said something along the lines of “A woman should shed her dignity with her clothes and do her whorish best.”

            5. Guys imagine a woman for themselves and themselves only. It goes back to Madonna/Whore Complex. …they want a whore for them and them only, and a virgin for everyone else to see…

              If that kind of thinking is taken to extremes that, is where burkas come from.

              1. Indeed! It’s a very primitive kind of thing…

                I’m no psychologist, but my understanding of the generally accepted principle has it that when we’re infants, we’re pretty much like Stewie on The Family Guy.

                We alternative hate and want to destroy our mothers for not being there when we want them, and the we love them with equal enthusiasm–but we don’t even realize that it’s the same person.

                The “terrible twos” are simply an infantile reaction to becoming aware that the mother you love and the mother you hate are the same person…

                If you come across some really primitive people in our culture, you’ll find the same kind of thinking–where they’re only happy if they separate things into monolithic good and monolithic evil…

                And everything that tries to break that simplistic view of the world is wrong, wrong, wrong…

                It isn’t even just a left or right thing either. Obama taps into that with his I’m the good guy against the evil corporations, but how many times have I heard people on the right talk about how much better it was the USA vs The Soviet Union–and it was easy to tell who the good guy was…blah, blah, blah…

                But, yeah, religious fundamentalists are really good at boiling things down to way too simple good or evil dichotomy. And from Muslim friends, they explain “covering” as being in emulation of Mary the mother of Jesus. …just like the habits Catholic nuns wear.

                …and yeah, to the radical fundamentalist, every one of them who doesn’t emulate Mary that way must be a whore.

            6. That isn’t the Madonna/whore complex; it’s about the wall of separation that men sometimes have between girls they want to screw and girls they want to love.

              Though it’s a Freudian term, I think evolutionary psychologists also consider a variant rooted in the idea that men subconsciously (driven by evolution, natch) classify girls as promiscuous (thus, easier to have a shot at impregnating, but with the caveat that everyone else has a pretty good shot as well, so the paternity of their offspring is fairly ambiguous) and chaste (who are better for commitment because they are less likely to deceive you into expending resources raising the offspring of another male).

              1. Yeah, and the female objective is to get the guy to fall in love so that he will be committed. Hence the desire to talk about feelings right after sex.

    3. I would say they are trying to accomplish neither empowerment nor sexual advertisement. Really they are just group of stupid kids trying to gain attention by being “rebellious” and provocative.

      1. Attention whore is Legion. If you can’t get noticed by talent, just be shocking. Fame is the end goal, because in 2010 you can make a pretty good living from celebrity.

      2. I made a similar point above, Banjos.

        Basically, the empowerment occurs in the minds and writings of intellectual deconstructionists, not in the motives of the practitioners, therefore empowerment via hyper-sexualized media stars is imaginary at best.

  22. Third-wave feminism was at its most compelling in its gamesome, confident presentation of the young female body?SLUT scrawled across the stomach; the combination of combat boots and baby-doll dresses.

    I need some graphical examples of this to get the full sense of the third wave for my “research”.

  23. If I roll around town with a mullet and a Dale Earnheart tee, no one is going to mistake me for a particle physicist.

    And on this board they wonder why people take Marxism seriously. Up and down this thread you see people defending the mores of their class interest against the perceived barbarians at the gate be they ‘sluts’ or rednecks.

    1. People take Marxism seriously? Really?

      Although I do have an irrational fear of the hoi polloi. What if one of those miscreants were to shove me down, causing my top-hat to become soiled and my monocle to be broken.

      1. Then you thrash him stoutly with your walking stick and have the gendarmes lock him up for refusing to respect your right to property. Duh.

    2. capitol l|5.27.10 @ 3:54PM|#

      People take Marxism seriously? Really?

      Although I do have an irrational fear of the hoi polloi. What if one of those miscreants were to shove me down, causing my top-hat to become soiled and my monocle to be broken.
      reply to this
      T|5.27.10 @ 4:13PM|#

      Then you thrash him stoutly with your walking stick and have the gendarmes lock him up for refusing to respect your right to property. Duh.

      Those were pretty good.

      But just to clarify so we are all on the same page, as you are likely aware, commentator John for one is known for his penchant for 18th century masochistic oriented French erotica where belles and squires of the overclass blind fold one another and squeeze strawberry juice all over each others tits.

      If translated into modern terms, you are pretty much saying that it is acceptable for some fug ass hag from Sex in the City to be a pretentious tramp because it is just all so sophisticated, but the cute working class girl with the Slut shirt and tramp stamp is asking to be raped?

      1. Regarding the claims above that scantily clad women deserve whatever happens to them, I cannot be more opposed to such a line of thinking. A rapist will rape because of his, or her, inherent degeneracy, not because of the clothing choice of the young lady, and blaming the victim is very misguided.

        My argument was that any woman has the right to sleep with whomever she chooses, and with as many whomevers as she wishes, and that should not be a reason to judge someone. But, the mere fact that she does this, and advertises it, or not, is not empowering. If you want to look, act, and dress like a ditsy tramp, that is how you will be treated. If you want to be treated with respect, then a certain amount of intelligence and accomplishment are necessary.

        Also, whether we like it or not, every society uses outward appearances as signifiers, Marxists included. The notion that is espoused by third wave feminists that Paris Hilton and her ilk are empowering young women is at best wrong and at worst destructive. The women making real headway are the engineers, scientists, mothers, businesswomen, etc that are out there quietly making inroads and doing their thing without any help, on their own merits, and as individuals.

        1. I just find this all highly amusing:

          Those prone to attack the Harvard elite bend their necks to the cultural mores of Wellesley College.

          Those who rail against Wall Street bankers accept the authority of their vapid socialite wives.

          As if Andrea Mitchel deserves more respect for wearing a set of pearls around her neck than Christina Aguilera does for wearing a pearl g-string up the crack of her ass.

          You are not supporting engineers, scientists, mothers, businesswomen, etc by wagging your finger at cultural trends that you don’t find in line to your delicate sensibilities with your desire to put down those not to your liking. That is exactly what you are doing to these women, you are putting them down. In there place.

          That chemistry major coming out of state ag school doesn’t look anything like the prim virgin of your imagination. That librarian with the pony tail, horn rimmed glass, long skirt and sweater vest, well, I’m afraid to tell you she no longer exists. Librarians today are superfreaky, but I guess that means they don’t accomplish anything in your world view.

          You are conflating far too many things into an incoherent causation for your argument to be anything more than personal prejudice. I thought libertarians avoided archaic sentiments that cloud the thinking process, guess I was wrong.

          1. I really wish you would read my comment, and grok the argument that I am making before you respond. You seem to be arguing with an idea of the person that I am and the kinds of things that person would say.

            1. I read your argument in total, gave it considerable attention, left out any assumptions that may not be fair to you (advocating rape against women of a perceived underclass, for instance), and nailed what was wrong with what you provided. If you are not seeing that than you are not entirely comfortable with your own words and thoughts.

              You may protest that you don’t believe in preventing a woman from dressing in a certain way counters my claim against your argument but it doesn’t because you still see yourself as being part of an anthropomorphically unsound collective that sees fit to judge these women who go against your sensibilities.

              Take a look at your own argument, and how it trips on itself,

              My argument was that any woman has the right to sleep with whomever she chooses, and with as many whomevers as she wishes, and that should not be a reason to judge someone.

              Which you immediately contradict with If you want to look, act, and dress like a ditsy tramp, that is how you will be treated.

              Who is doing this mistreatment you advocate? Society? No, society doesn’t exist as a physical manifestation, so it can only be you and those like you.

              1. I really hate to belabour the point, Karl, but this still does not feel right.

                It doens’t jibe.

                I still am under the suspicion that you are arguing with someone else, it’s as if you have these responses thought of priorly. These contradictions that you conjur, and the motivations that you imagine are not tangible; incorporeal at best and delusionary lies at worst.

                An honest response would be appreciated.

                1. That ‘these contradictions that you conjur’ is just silly when I made a demonstrable case above using your own words and your own contradiction in the argument I pressed forward.

                  I don’t know how to make it any clearer to you that your argument is not a sound one.

                  Maybe I need to point out what I have mostly avoided up until now as an unnecessary distraction. It may be the only way to underline the essence of your problem.

                  Taken from your above commentary:

                  Regarding the claims above that scantily clad women deserve whatever happens to them, I cannot be more opposed to such a line of thinking. A rapist will rape because of his, or her, inherent degeneracy, not because of the clothing choice of the young lady, and blaming the victim is very misguided.

                  You ignore the long history of the social mores that you advocate. It is amazing to me that you can make the arguments that you do while turning a blind eye to well known history. The behavior you find objectionable did originate in the underclass, and it was the privileged classes that deemed them unfit that also gave themselves the privilege of sexually abusing women of the underclasses without any recourse available to those women.

                  Certainly few would advocate going back to those times when the privileged had a license to rape and blamed the victim for it due to their dress and lower class behavior, but too many seem to think they can still enforce the mores from that history but isolate it from its ugly history.

                  Brittany Spears is a definite step up from the world view you are advocating.

                  You also seem to under the impression that yours is still the dominate cultural trend as I gather from this remark, Also, whether we like it or not, every society uses outward appearances as signifiers. I see very little evidence of that being the case. Indeed, I suspect in the next decade it will be as socially impermissible to judge ‘sluts’ as it is now to judge homosexuals for their behavior, and that is a welcome step forward.

                  1. ‘Tis not true because Karl deems it so, sorry.

                    Your opposition is an angry cry against a shadow. You spend your time typing, the words mere bricks and mortar, a purpose for each.

                    Building and building, until an edifice appears, only to tear it down.

                    Creative destruction, eh?

                    Keep creating someone to argue with if it makes you happy, but quit trying to pull me into your predictable classist bullshit.

                    Dialectical analysis makes me weary and the example above is especially tiresome.

                    …I will add that your continued obsession with inter-class sexual assault says more about you than any other commenter here.

                    1. I’m sorry you feel that way, l. It really isn’t about me. I have no emotional investment in this argument through either ego nor through its subject matter.

                      My counter argument was a gentle introduction to a serious strain of thought of which you did not seem to be aware given the arguments you were making. At no time did I vary from presenting that school of thought within feminism except for a few occasions to add a humorous touch to keep the discussion from getting dull.

                      It isn’t my purpose to beat you over the head, but only to present to you something for your consideration that may broaden your understanding.

                      I would think it better you heard it from me in this safe environment than someone in your public capacity who would likely assume you are a troglodyte given your advocations without knowing the broader context.

                      Though I would hope you are not the kind of person who believes it is permissible to sweep a very real problem that exist in the here and now (historicizing it was my attempt to abstract it for you, that gentle I mentioned above) under the rug because the problem does not fit the pretext of your ideology.

                      This –

                      …I will add that your continued obsession with inter-class sexual assault says more about you than any other commenter here.

                      indicates that is a possibility you prefer not to be made aware.

                    2. Oh, how kind of you, I regret my mistake.

                      Here, I just thought you were regurgitating materialistic talking points. I always had that problem, you know, when someone of knowledge and wisdom was trying to lead me gently down the path of enlightenment.

                      I will be sure to note, in the future, that an ersatz academic tone coupled with a condescending fantasy world equals the cultural pedant that has always been neglected in my life. And to my psychic detriment to boot.

                      Regarding my perception as a troglodyte in my public capacity(whatever that is), I am sure I can handle the consequences my peers response to my so called advocacy.

                    3. Well, it appears I am getting through to you after all. I chose my tone carefully there in the last post, as in your bon mots put it, ‘ersatz academic’ to further the agenda of broadening your understanding. It provides a buffer upon which you can dismiss it; however, in dismissing it you now own it without much fuss to its substance because you have conquered the one whose providence in this matter is clearly a ‘cultural pedant’ living in a ‘condescending fantasy world’ (to which now I am purposely reinforcing your sentiment) to whom you can safely ignore.

                      However, those are the apt conditions for the idea to eventually get through to you because you have conquered it, you have pwned it. It is now yours. No need to thank me. Happy to assist.

                      Anytime you feel like peering into the Abyss, give me a hollar.

                    4. Ooh, I do like peering into the abyss.

                      Do you have a newsletter I could sign up for? I am particularly interested in the deterministic view of history, perhaps you would know something of that?

                  2. I suspect in the next decade it will be as socially impermissible to judge ‘sluts’ as it is now to judge homosexuals for their behavior, and that is a welcome step forward.

                    I don’t think you are right. As we were discussing above, there’s some very biological things going on with male opinions where sexually promiscuous women are concerned. It’s not all a cultural thing. In fact, it’s probably mostly NOT a cultural thing, or the sexual revolution would already have eliminated this.

                    1. I have seem dramatic improvement over the past thirty five years on that score. I know women from when I was much younger were much more ostracized than they are now. I am pretty much an optimist who believes there are at least a few more steps for us to take forward before we are smacked on the noggin by raw biology though your are ultimately right. That point exist, I hope it is further off the scale than we imagine.

    3. This really isn’t a left/right classist thing. It’s male hormonal Madonna/whore complex thing. It’s not that the high class girls get to act like whores, it’s an attempt to reconcile sexual liberation with not wanting to think girls you would want to date would be sleeping around on you. The guys want to fuck chaste women, or if not chaste, at least not openly promiscuous ones. The high class ones are considered more discreet and thus more acceptable. It’s not about sophistication or classiness.

  24. Hey while I’m here.
    Kerry Howley,
    Will you be on the Reason Cruise? If so will you be on deck in a bikini? If so will you write SLUT in SPF 50 on your stomach? And if so, how much would you charge me to lick it off?

    W

    1. You’re incorrigible.

  25. Though why would you want to call yourself a feminist after Bella Abzug horrendous imprint on the movement?

  26. Hulk SMASH!!

  27. Feminism is about choice, for a woman to control her own destiny. Some women choose to go into the workplace, some choose to be housewives, some choose to be mothers.

    I respect whatever choice a woman makes, but choice also comes with responsibility. If you want to dress provocatively, than go right ahead. It’s your choice (and I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t enjoy it as well), but there are definite risks that go along with it. Accept those risks and prepare for them, and you’ll be fine.

  28. What-ever!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.